It's certainly fitting that Kevin Hansen's final turn at Minneapolis Musical Theatre finds him sharing the stage with co-founder Steven Meerdink. After all, the two have been the engine driving the small company through the past two decades as they've brought a remarkable string of shows to the stage, from familiar favorites like La Cage aux Folles (in 2006, the last time the pair shared the stage) and Mame to out-there new works, including Jerry Springer: The Opera and the audience favorite Bat Boy. Hansen has decided to retire from MMT at the end of the season, and he is going out with The Story of My Life, a new two-person musical by Brian Hill and Neil Bartman about the power of friendship. For Hansen, the time is right to step aside as the growth has brought "increased operational demands. I've traditionally taken the lead in that area, but now is the perfect time for me to turn those responsibilities over to the board," he says. The play follows a lifelong friendship as the lead looks back through the years to see where his life went wrong. The work, which first hit the stage in 2009, is making its area premiere, and Hansen is thrilled to take the stage one last time with Meerdink. "I won't pretend that it's not emotional. The process of bringing these character's stories to life has been very close to us, and hopefully that authenticity gives the audience a unique experience," he says. Christine Karki directs the production, with musical direction provided by Lori Maxwell.
Thursdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Mondays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Starts: March 9. Continues through March 25, 2012